Passport? Check. Medical history? Check. Snacks and a favorite blanket? Check. Leash? Check. As more people travel with their pets, it's now pretty common to see little Snickers wagging his tail peacefully in line ahead of you. Looks easy, right? Not quite. Before you consider traveling with your pet, you need to know what's allowed (or not) in the rapidly expanding world of pet travel. First of all, you should think long and hard about taking your pet with you in the first place - your pet's age and temperament could easily make traveling with it a hassle.
Consider the same travel precautions you'd take for yourself, and apply them to your pet. Take a list of your pet's medications and medical history along with you, as well as a recent picture of Fluffy in case it gets lost. Don't forget to make copies of your passport and your pet's ID tag numbers in case you need them. Make sure you have your vet's number handy, and research a couple of animal clinics at your vacation destination before you leave town [source: Mandell].
If you're traveling overseas, check with your embassy in your destination country before taking your pet with you [source: US State Department]. Quarantine lengths and restrictions may vary, and if you hate waiting in line, imagine a long wait with an anxious puppy! You should also know that pets will not be saved if an emergency evacuation is needed and military aircraft is used to evacuate people, though service animals will be rescued if possible [source: U.S. State Department].
If you've decided to hit the road with your pets, then you should read this article to learn what you can and cannot do when traveling with pets on trains, buses and cruise ships. First, we'll find how to take Fluffy cross-country by train.